US, Australia, Japan, Philippines plan South China Sea anti-submarine drills, Kyodo reports

April 3, 2024 - 9:12 AM
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Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, conducts underway operations in the South China Sea, in this handout picture released on July 13, 2022. (U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters)

 The United States, Australia, Japan and the Philippines are planning anti-submarine drills in the South China Sea on April 7, Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday.

It would mark the first such full-fledged exercise for the navies of the four countries in those waters and is likely aimed at demonstrating solidarity with the Philippines against China’s growing assertiveness, Kyodo said, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

— Reporting by Kantaro Komiya;Editing by Chang-Ran Kim